Friday, August 21, 2009

"look out kindergarten, here I come"

The title above are the words spoken by Abby herself on the eve of the first day of school. She has been SO super excited to go to kindergarten.
The boys are homeschooling for one more year, but we knew that sending Abby was the right thing for her. And she had no hesitation about going.
The morning of the first day, we were snuggling in bed and after I told her I couldn't believe she was going to kindergarten, she told me, "well Mom, I'm growing up. And kindergarten is just part of growing up." She's such a riot.
She also got glasses recently, to our surprise. You can see below that she looks great in them. She was a little nervous about it at first, wondering if the other kids would think she looked "weird". She asked me if I thought she would look like a scientist. I assured her she could still look 'cool' in glasses.
Anyways, the first day went off without a hitch. Glasses and all. She was so excited and had a great day. Was even looking forward to going back for 'day 2', as she told me when she woke up today; always a good sign!

last days

we've had some fun over the last few weeks with summer winding down....

camping with friends

Jeremy Camp/Steven Curtis Chapman concert at the IA State Fair

A day at the Lost Island Waterpark

Paddling at the lake and a picnic after

Friday, August 14, 2009

time to share

Well, we've been busy as usual, but more has been going on than you may have known, and now it's time to share.
Last July, my husband and I saw the face of an orphan on a website that we felt pulled to, strongly. Adoption is something we have a history with, and a heart for. However, at the time we had a one-month old, so we waited and prayed, as we couldn't start anything until she was 6 months old. 
We continued to feel this pressed upon us, so come December we started sponsoring the little girl through her foster home in China. Each month, we sent her a package of clothes, toys, etc, and the kids always included cards/pictures they would make her, with "we love you" notes written on them. In return, the foster home would send us pictures of her opening the gifts we sent. It was so incredible to see the joy on her face with these simple items we had sent.  We also received monthly updates about her development and growth.

We felt more strongly than ever that God was leading us toward her and so we started compiling all the paperwork necessary for a dossier, for us to adopt her. 
By April we had homestudy visits completed and had chosen an adoption agency that would work on our behalf to do everything they could to locate her file for our family. This method is not the routine way to proceed with adoption in China, and sort of discouraged. But our agency and others, have seen it work out with families requesting specific files, so they agreed to do everything they could. We felt that God is in the business of miracles and that locating her file was no hard task for Him. We stepped out in faith and believed wholeheartedly that God had led us to her and that if it were His will for us to join our family, he could and would work out the details. 
Looking back I still feel like I can see His hand in the whole thing. Finding her file wasn't difficult, unusually. And most recently we waited to see if her file went to the shared list so that our agency could then "lock it" for us. That was our prayer. For Him to deliver her file to our agency, if it was his will. 
Well, yesterday, we got the crushing news that her file was given to another agency, and that she now has been matched with a family, not ours. 
I am heartbroken and in disbelief. Both Jason and I felt so confident that she was meant for us and we did everything possible on our end to move on her behalf.
I am resting in God's providence now. I know that it's His will, I'm just so sad that it wasn't our family He had chosen for her. We love her so much.

Please pray for our hearts to heal, and praise that she does, in fact, have a family. Also pray for Jason and I to decipher how to proceed, if at all, with adoption in general. 

So, last night we went to see Jeremy Camp and Steven Curtis Chapman at the State Fair. Terrific. Loved it. I will say, I was a little nervous about going. As most know, Steven Curtis Chapman is a huge adoption advocate and I thought hearing him talk about it may be hard for me right now. But to my surprise, it just warmed my heart and Jeremy Camp especially spoke to me; Maybe because he's been through a lot of hurt in his own life, on a much larger scale than what I am currently wading through. But during his portion of the concert he sang Walk by Faith and though I've heard it and sang along many, many times, this part really hit me last night, and then the tears came.

"I will walk by faith, even when I cannot see;
because this broken road, prepares your will for me."

That's IT! While I would have never chosen this path for our life with this little girl, apparently it's the path that will lead us to what His will for us is. Which is comforting. Hard, but comforting.